In partnership with Flinders University and SAHMRI, Breakthrough Mental Health Research Foundation will look to lead the development of an Aboriginal Mental Health strategy.

In this NAIDOC week, its important to recognise and participate in activities that support local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Always Was, Always Will Be.

That is why it is important to recognise the way culture is celebrated and the more than 65,000 years of history of the First Nations.

To support this initiative, Breakthrough hosted an Aboriginal Luncheon with guest speakers Daniel Motlop from Something Wild and Professor Alex Brown from SAHMRI.

Daniel was an Australian rules footballer who played a total of 130 senior games for North Melbourne and Port Adelaide. He is now General Manager of Something Wild, an indigenous food company.

Daniel spoke of his passion for the land and introducing culture through food through his company Something Wild.

“It’s my dream that spotlighting Indigenous food will help build a sustainable industry that is respectful and beneficial to Aboriginal communities and traditional landowners.”

Specialising in game meats and native greens, Something Wild has built strong relationships with Indigenous communities to promote and supply unique produce from one of the world’s oldest cultures.

Daniel spoke of his AFL career with host Little Heroes Foundation Chairman Chris McDermott, and the challenges he faced coming from the Northern Territory including his ability fit in and the pressures it put on his mental health.

Professor Alex Brown is the program lead for Aboriginal research at SAHMRI and is an Aboriginal doctor and researcher with extensive skills in Indigenous health research in rural and remote communities.

Alex spoke of the incredible mental health strain on indigenous communities.

“I worked with traditional healers about how to understand mental wellbeing and how do we recognise mental distress in Aboriginal people,” he said.

“They were being separated from the things that meant the most to them; family, country and culture.”

Breakthrough is looking for sponsorship of $50,000 to support a Fellowship in Aboriginal Mental Health Research Leadership.

“The fundamental reality is, if we want to make long term change in Aboriginal mental health we need to identify, support and grow somebody in a leadership role,” Professor Brown said.

A big thank you to Westpac and Adrian Carpenter and his team for supporting the luncheon.